NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 19930013421: Opportunities for research on Space Station Freedom
Publication date 1992-01-01
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), ASTROPHYSICS, LIFE SCIENCES, MICROGRAVITY, SPACE EXPLORATION, SPACE STATION FREEDOM, SPACE STATION PAYLOADS, SPACELAB, AERODYNAMICS, EARTH SCIENCES, SPACE SHUTTLE MISSIONS, SPACECREWS, Phillips, Robert W.,
NASA has allocated research accommodations on Freedom (equipment, utilities, etc.) to the program offices that sponsor space-based research and development as follows: Space Science and Applications (OSSA)--52 percent, Commercial Programs (OCP)--28 percent, Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST)--12 percent, and Space Flight (OSF)--8 percent. Most of OSSA's allocation will be used for microgravity and life science experiments; although OSSA's space physics, astrophysics, earth science and applications, and solar system exploration divisions also will use some of this allocation. Other Federal agencies have expressed an interest in using Space Station Freedom. They include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy. Payload interfaces with space station lab support equipment must be simple, and experiment packages must be highly contained. Freedom's research facilities will feature International Standard Payload Racks (ISPR's), experiment racks that are about twice the size of a Spacelab rack. ESA's Columbus lab will feature 20 racks, the U.S. lab will have 12 racks, and the Japanese lab will have 10. Thus, Freedom will have a total of 42 racks versus 8 for Space lab. NASA is considering outfitting some rack space to accommodate small, self-contained payloads similar to the Get-Away-Special canisters and middeck-locker experiment packages flown on Space Shuttle missions. Crew time allotted to experiments on Freedom at permanently occupied capability will average 25 minutes per rack per day, compared to six hours per rack per day on Spacelab missions. Hence, telescience--the remote operation of space-based experiments by researchers on the ground--will play a very important role in space station research. Plans for supporting life sciences research on Freedom focus on the two basic goals of NASA 's space life sciences program: to ensure the health, safety, and productivity of humans in space and to acquire fundamental knowledge of biological processes. Space-based research has already shown that people and plants respond the same way to the microgravity environment: they lose structure. However, the mechanisms by which they respond are different, and researchers do not yet know much about these mechanisms. Life science research accommodations on Freedom will include facilities for experiments designed to address this and other questions, in fields such as gravitational biology, space physiology, and biomedical monitoring and countermeasures research.
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